AfricaHealth & FitnessZimbabwe

144-hour water shedding ignites gastrointestinal disease outbreak

By Almot Maqolo

At least nine people have died from gastrointestinal disease outbreak while a total of 1 500 have been infected in Zimbabwe’s second largest city Bulawayo at a time the country is battling coronavirus. The disease has diarrhoea symptoms.

Information, publicity and broadcasting services minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the outbreak is attributed to the 144-hour water shedding regime as well as the vandalism of outfall sewers. Bulawayo water situation remains depressed. As such, Borehole drilling and rehabilitation is being undertaken to augment the water supplies.

“In response to the Gastrointestinal Disease outbreak, four treatment stations have since been set up and Rapid Response Teams are currently conducting door to door inspections to determine the extent of the outbreak,” she said.

“Cabinet has directed Treasury to immediately avail financial resources in order to contain the outbreak and address the water challenge in Bulawayo.” Plans are also underway to increase raw water supplies to the city of Bulawayo through pumping water from Mtshabezi, Insiza, Inyakhuni dams, as well as the Epping Forest and Rochester Aquifers, she added.

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